Carrying on its offensive against the Nitish Kumar-led dispensation for ‘paving grounds’ for the release of dreaded RJD leader Shahabuddin from jail, the state BJP on Tuesday said that the government was responsible for invoking fresh fear among the people of Bihar.
“Had the government been sincere towards its claim about rule of law in the state, it would not have closed its eyes from the reality like an ostrich,” said former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi after his customary ‘janata darbar’.
He said if Shahabuddin got out on bail, the government should squarely be blamed for it. “Shahabuddin had about three dozen cases of serious offences pending in the court of law for more than three years owing to delays in prosecution. By stopping trial of all but one cases, the government allowed him to manage the entire system in his favour,” alleged Modi.
Citing legal discrepancies that allowed Shahabuddin to manage the verdicts, Modi wondered as to how the additional sessions judge of Siwan could let the accused to fight his case on government expenses, on false grounds.
“The Siwan court allowed Shahabuddin to hire a lawyer of his own choice on government’s expenses on the ground that his financial condition was not good. How can a man be so poor if his wife, Hena Shahab, in her election affidavit claimed to have possessed property worth `8-9 crore?,” he asked.
Modi said the Patna HC later realised the fault in Siwan court’s order stayed it. Besides, the court had also directed the authorities to ensure the appearance of Shahabuddin in the trial court and listing of his cases for trial.
“But the same order, which was sent through registered cover along with AD (acknowledgement of delivery) was not delivered to the accused for the past three years in jail,” he said, adding that the government never insisted for launching trial in pending cases.
News of his release on bail was not taken lightly in Delhi. “Jungle raj is also back in the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance of Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar),” BJP secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said.
On his release from the jail, the former RJD MP from Siwan refused to accept Nitish Kumar as his leader and called him a “chief minister of circumstance” – a statement that set off angry reaction from alliance partner the JD(U).
The party hit out at Nitish Kumar saying to remain the chief minister, he compromised all values he stood for. “Lalu Praad is keen to be a partner but make his son the true CM,” the BJP leader said, adding that Congress’ has a main bhi hu na (me too) status in the alliance.